How to choose the right Conroe pool builder.

So, it’s that time of year when all you want to do is lounge around by the pool and sunbathe. Wouldn’t it be so much more convenient for your journey to the pool to be simply stepping into your backyard? Once you’ve decided that you need a pool in order to fully experience the summer, you’re in for a long and arduous process. This guide will help you to select the best swimming pool builder to build your perfect pool that is best suited to your needs.

With all the of contractors that can be found in this area, not to mention the internet, finding the perfect one for you amidst that sea can be daunting. Fear not, though; the tips below will greatly aid you in choosing the best Conroe swimming pool builder for the job.

The first thing you need to do is check with neighbors and friends who have pools to see if they have any recommendations. It will also help you discern each contractor’s style. Most contractors are more than just builders; they are able to help you design a pool that caters specifically to your aesthetic tastes and will even help you to arrange your lawn furniture to the best effect.

Next, it’s time to assess what you have to work with. You need to come up with an estimate of how big your pool will be, and how much money you have to spend on it. This will help to narrow down the contractors available into the ones that are in your price bracket. Once you have done this, license and insurance information should be obtained before going through the various portfolios of the contractors to see which ones’ prior work seems to be most compatible with your vision of your pool. At every stage of this lengthy process, you should be narrowing down the list of contractors until it comes down to a decision of personal preference.

You will know the Conroe swimming pool builder you have selected is the right one by the number of questions he asks. A good contractor will be looking to you to provide direction with regards to materials and accessories, making sure that he gets at the very least your go-ahead if not your opinion on the material choices.

Once the deciding over the materials used is done, be sure to obtain a written contract along with an estimate. Such paperwork will save you a lot of time and stress later when it comes time to settle accounts.

When it comes down to the actual construction of the pool, it is important to entrust the work to the Conroe pool contractor you hired. While it is important to receive regular reports on progress, it is also important to ensure that you give them the space required to finish the work in a timely manner.

Once everything is completed, it’s time to kick back, relax and enjoy the luxurious sensation of having your own personal oasis right in your backyard by the best swimming pool builder out there.

Pool problems check the Pool Wizard

RoysPool3-300x225Pool problem help & pool maintenance tips

Most pool owners have similar complaints about their pool water problems and say things like: “My swimming pool always turns green with algae!”, “My eyes and nose burn when I swim and I can smell the chlorine,” or “The swimming pool water is cloudy. How do I know if the water is safe for my kids?”

This site addresses these and other questions about pool water chemistry and swimming pool problems. Step by step guides take you through all aspects of pool water testing, balancing the water chemistry and general swimming pool maintenance. To make life easier, there are convenient water calculators to help you work out how much of each chemical you need. You can also work out the volume of your swimming pool or make conversions between gallons and liters.

The pages dealing with identifying and solving the most common swimming pool problems will no doubt be of use to all pool owners, pool maintainers and swimmers alike. Problems such as algae, cloudy water, swimming pool illnesses and chlorine smells are covered. Please feel free to request help on topics not covered on this site.

A section is devoted to the Pool Wizard, a fully patented revolutionary swimming pool accessory using natural minerals, which dramatically reduces pool maintenance and the associated pool chemical costs (such as chlorine, flocculant and algaecide). Never again will you have algae in your swimming pool. It even prevents and destroys the most stubborn black algae found in pool water. It kills bacteria and fungus too, with no maintenance required (apart from half an hour every 7 to 9 months).

A comprehensive glossary of swimming pool and pool maintenance terminology has been added. If you can’t figure out the pool manuals or maintenance guides, then this can really help to solve your problems.

Why not check out some of the satisfied users of the Pool Wizard and view some of the before/ after photos, or explore web sites in our pool and spa directory containing useful information relevant to swimming pools, swimming and pool water quality, hot tubs and spas (as well as a few of my own personal favorites).

Costs Vs. Long-Term Value

Screenshot_2A swimming pool can be a good investment if it is of the right size and you live in the right place — and if you’re willing to put in the time and maintenance effort to keep it in good shape. It’s important to carefully weigh the costs of installation and maintenance of a pool against the actual utility/value of the pool — which could be assessed in terms of how many months per year you get to use it. Here is more information to consider before you invest in this expensive addition to your home.

Resale Value

Swimming pools can increase the market value of your home, but you’ll probably be looking at returns of between 15 and 25 percent. That’s not a lot in resale value. It’s estimated that the cost to install a swimming pool averages between $5,000 and $12,800, depending on size, depth and accessories. This doesn’t even account for the cost of long-term maintenance, which includes chemical balancing, vacuuming and other care required to keep it in shape. In the end, you could be looking at an additional $250 for swimming pool maintenance every year. Is that worth the maximum 25 percent increase in home value you could get back?

Where You Live

if you live in a moderate climate where almost no one has a pool, your home is likely to attract fewer buyers when the time comes to sell. This could decrease the overall sale price of your home as a result. Pools are attractive in tropical climates with more hot months than cold — climates in which you’ll have two seasons rather than four. Buyers are also sometimes not interested in the maintenance and care that a pool requires.

Best-case scenarios in which your pool will add to your home investment are:

  • Everyone in your neighborhood has a pool.
  • You live in a tropical area.
  • Your yard has enough room for more landscaping or play areas in addition to the pool.

In short, your pool has the best shot of adding value to your home if you live in a hot, tropical area where neighboring homes have pools as well, whereas you might in fact end up with a negative ROI from installing a pool if you live in areas where there aren’t any pools in the neighborhood.

Gas/Propane vs Heat Pump vs Solar?

pool-heaters-9 Are you looking for a way to utilize your swimming pool for as much of the year as possible?  Today  we’re going to discuss the benefits of heating your pool, different heating options, and how much  each option costs initially and on a monthly basis.

Without a pool heater your swim season may only last three or four months, while the addition of a  heater will typically extend your swim season about two months depending on location and climate.   We all know how much kids enjoy the swimming pool and closing time can be kind of a bummer  but with a pool heater you and your family can maximize the fun.

There are three main types of pool heaters:

  • Solar
  • Heat Pump (electric)
  • Gas
  • Solar Pool Heaters are very efficient in southern climates year-round and extends swim time in northern climates. By using the sun’s energy the existing pool pump will circulate the water through the heater which will be typically located on the rooftop or on a frame constructed in the yard.  The down Solar heating requires a system equal to 50%-100% of the pool’s surface. While solar energy may be free, the pool pump must be running for the solar heater to properly operate which can increase your electric bill.
  • Electric Heat Pump amazingly, the electric heat pump is actually a form of solar energy. How is that possible?  Well the sun warms the air and that heat is pulled from the air.  This warm air is pulled in, enhanced, and transferred into the water, requiring temperatures of approximately 55+ to properly function.
  • Gas Pool Heaters use either propane or natural gas. Operating independently of outdoor temperature conditions, gas pool heaters burn the fuel within a combustion chamber all while your pool water runs through copper coils to then return to the pool warm.

Electric Heat Pumps are highly efficient costing owners on average $50-100 per month. We find that about 19 of 20 of our customers who install heaters choose heat pumps simply because of their dependability and low operating cost.  Electric Heat Pumps can extend the average pool use by 2-3 months depending on location/climate.  Going back to how a heat pump works will determine how long it will extend pool use per year according to location. Outside temperatures need to be around 55+ degrees so in an area such as Texas the heat pump will efficiently keep temperatures regulated almost the entire year.

So if you’re interested in heating your pool or just considering options for your future pool here are the three options and why electric heat pumps are a known favorite among a majority of our customers, plus who doesn’t enjoy saving a little cash?

Pool Closing Supply Checklist

Today we present a helpful checklist of everything you need to close your pool like a professional, and ensure an easy and inexpensive pool opening in the spring.

Pool Anti-Freeze: There is one thing that all pools have in common from Intex pools to elaborate custom inground pools: After you blow the water out of your pool’s plumbing it is always better to be safe than sorry and protect the lines with Non-Toxic Pool Anti-freeze. Pour it into the skimmer, or use a funnel and hose to drain it into return lines or pool cleaner lines. Do Not use in pumps, filters, heaters or chlorinators – pipes only.

winter-pool-plugs-intheswimWinterizing Plugs: In many sizes, threaded plugs and rubber expansion plugs all serve the same purpose and that is to plug the skimmers, returns and cleaner lines. Winter plugs keep water Out of your pool’s plumbing and to keep the anti-freeze In the pipe. One of the smallest, least costly accessories for closing your pool is also one of the most important. Without pool plugs, your pool cannot be considered really “closed”.

chlorine-free-pool-shock-intheswim-smChlorine-Free Pool Shock: Another versatile universal pool closing go-to is our oxidizing non-chlorine shock. It’s safe for any pool surface, and helps your chlorine by burning-off dead chlorine cells to create more free chlorine in your water. It will not affect your pools pH level or add calcium, binders or cyanuric acid to the water. One of the best reasons to close a pool with non-chlorine shock is that it won’t break down winter algaecides, like chlorine shock will if both are added at the same time.

winterpill-from-intheswim-smAquaPill’s WinterPill: Unlike the indie rock band band from Massachusetts Winterpills, the WinterPill is a winter pool chemical that combines enzymes, clarifiers, stain fighters, and scale treatment into one set-it-and-forget-it pill.  All you have to do is poke a hole in the the pill with the provided pin and drop it in the water. It does the rest of the work and slowly releases the solution throughout the winter. For both above and inground pools.

Spring & Fall Pool Magic Spring and Fall + PhosFree: Another popular winter pool treatment combines two of Natural Chemistry’s products, Pool Magic and PhosFree. Pool Magic has enzymes specially designed to work best in cold water, and with a  tremendous appetite for dirt, oil and grime. With the phosphate remover Phos-Free, algae will not have the nutrients it needs to grow in your pool as the water warms-up in Spring. Great for any pool owner, but especially useful for pools with mesh safety covers that allow fine particles and sunlight to sift through.

ultimate-winter-kit-smUltimate Winterizing Pool Kit: Save money with an In the Swim Winterizing Pool Kit. Dr. Pool’s closing kits are chlorine free, so they’re safe for all pools and all pool surfaces.  The Ultimate kit has a bottle of Metal Free and also Pool Magic+Phosfree, 3 lbs of Non-Chlorine Shock, and a slow-release floater with 4 lbs of winter oxidizer (chlorine free). Also available is the less expensive Winter Kit which features the same products as the Ultimate Kit but with Winter Algaecide and Stain Away instead of the Natural Chemistry Products.

water-bags-water-tubesWater Tubes: For inground pools without a safety cover, the humble water bag, or water tubes. It’s the pool product that everyone hates to buy, but every year you need to buy at least a six-pack of water tubes to replace those that pop holes. Double tubes are best, because they are still usable if one side gets a hole. Instead of water tubes, try Aqua Bloks, 3 ft long plastic water tubs with a snap-on lid. Don’t use bricks, blocks or lumber. Besides looking bad, it could damage your pool cover.

cover-pump-for-pools-aquaproCover Pumps: Solid winter covers have the added benefit of not allowing sunlight through, which can lead to an algae bloom, and they are not mesh so they prevent dirt, pollen and other unwanted debris from passing through as well. However, they also do not allow rain water or snow melt through either. Automatic cover pumps are activated when a small amount of water collects turning on to pump off the water, thru an attached garden hose. Large cover pumps like the AquaPro 1/3 hp can also be used for lowering pool water level, draining hot tubs, boats or flooded basements.

wetdryvac-smA Wet/Dry Vac: Perhaps a Shop Vac isn’t the first thing that pool owners think of when they think of pool supply necessities. No pool can be safely closed with water still in the lines, and no one wants to run the risk of burst or cracked plumbing due to water freezing. A large shop vac (5 HP) can be used to blow out skimmer and return lines. To blow out pool pipes best, and to force water out of main drain lines, use something like the Cyclone Vac to get enough air volume and pressure.

pool-heater-coverCovers, covers, and covers: A pool cover is de rigueur of course, but we have other covers too. For inground pools with solar cover reels, the Solar Reel Cover protects your solar blanket from sun and snow. It’s a cover for your cover! And using a Pool Heater Cover protects your heater from moisture, debris and critters. Cover the surface of diving boards to add years to its lifespan. Nobody wants to jump off a cracked and peeling board and a simple Diving Board Cover can keep that from happening.

credits to: Ryan Dornan

What makes your woodlands pool builder great?

Admit it: you have heard at least one horror story from a friend about people who have gone through horrible experiences during swimming pool installation. Maybe the contractors didn’t show on time or the work ended up being too expensive or the quality was poor – the stories have no end. While some of them might be true, most of them are probably just tall tales. If you want to create your very own backyard paradise in your home in the Woodlands, you can stay away from such horrors by learning what to look for in the Woodlands pool contractors to make sure building and buying your swimming pool goes as smoothly as possible. Here are the things you will need to take into consideration first:

Contracts

Never get a swimming pool built before getting a legal binding contract which states every responsibility and right that you have as clear as crystal. Reputable pool contractors would never go ahead without one anyway and you should not, either.

Experience

Building a gorgeous backyard swimming pool does not get done overnight. When it comes to custom swimming pools, the construction and art in themselves could take quite some time to master. The Woodlands pool contractors of the best quality bring lots of experience with them. However, do not cast them aside if you find one that is quite new to the business just yet. Instead, try to find experience within the management or ownership group first.

The Process – 

Getting a swimming pool built is probably a huge deal for you, so it should be a huge deal for your pool contractor, too. Search for the Woodlands pool companies that offer up step-by-step guidelines that take you into consideration before anything else. This process needs to start with a thorough consultation that will help the contractor pinpoint your exact needs and wishes. It should then follow up with a thorough design phase before constructing the actual pool. Good contractors should always provide their clients with final visual representations of the designs and it would be essential for you to review this design to ensure that it meets your personal wishes before proceeding with the pool’s construction.

Reputation

The Woodlands pool contractors that are great will have a good reputation overall. The greatest ones will even have endorsements from their old customers. After all, whenever a job gets done or exceeds initial expectations, what customers tend to do is share that experience with other people.

Pool contractors need to be able to prove to possible clients that they have done good jobs in the past, especially when it comes to custom designed swimming pools. If contractors do not have work portfolios to show, you will definitely need to speak up and ask why.

The Woodlands pool contractors for hire all need to be looked at thoroughly. By taking your time in reviewing every possible option out there, you are sure to find the ideal pool contractor that can give you exactly what you need without a scary horror ending.

WHAT POOL DESIGN IS BEST FOR YOUR PROPERTY?

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SIZE, SHAPE, AND STYLE ARE IMPORTANT WHEN BUILDING    A SWIMMING POOL. HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO HELP YOU  DETERMINE WHAT DESIGN IS BEST FOR YOUR PROPERTY.

While being spontaneous can be a good thing, building your long-desired  swimming pool should not be left to chance. What is best for your property  will come from a number of inspirations. But before you get to this step,  consider what material will be best to construct the pool design you have in  mind.

There are three basic types of inground pools: concrete, vinyl, and f  Fiberglass. Each type of building material has its own set of pros and cons  when it comes to forming a shape and creating a style. Make sure the design you imagine for your pool can be fabricated in the material you want to use. Don’t hesitate to do your homework: research options, ask other pool owners, and interview prospective builders of all three types.

Concrete is the most accommodating material for crafting a pool shape and style: your imagination and your budget are its only limits. Ideal for any kind of custom design, you can further enhance your concrete pool with a finishing material like glass tile, colored plaster, or stone aggregate.

Vinyl, like concrete, is great for all types of swimming pool designs. The material and styles for vinyl-lined pools have advanced over the years; the number of patterns and colors are almost infinite, giving homeowners a large assortment to choose from for the look of the pool’s interior.

Built from pre-manufactured molds, fiberglass pools come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and styles, including popular designs like infinity pools. Fiberglass pool companies can further customize your project by adding ceramic tile, custom jets, mosaics, and other water features.

Once you have decided on the type of construction and chosen a professional builder, the next step is to flesh out the concept.

Infinity Pools-One of the most dramatic effects found in pool are Infinity pools Made to fool the viewer into believing that the pool flows over an edge into the neighboring vista However, a designer will also suggest an infinity pool for a property that is surrounded by natural lushness like wooded glens or palm tree groves.

Perimeter overflow pools-are an optical illusion that uses water to mimic mirrors and flat deck surfaces. Water overflows on all sides into a trough in the deck, functioning like a 360-degree vanishing edge. When viewed from overhead or from afar, the pool appears to be a flat surface on the deck. It is only when the wind or some other movement ripples the surface that the effect disappears.

Freeform pools-live up to their name: Because their contours do not have to obey the rules of geometry, they can become whatever the designer visualizes, making them ideal for most properties. Homes in natural, tropical, or rustic settings are exceptional candidates because freeform pools blend in seamlessly with their surroundings, morphing into the setting and appearing to be organic in origin. With imaginative landscaping, hardscaping, and lighting, a freeform pool can mimic a tropical lagoon, a secret oasis, or a tranquil waterway.

Kidney-shaped pool-Many pool designers use this pool shape as a foundation from which to build more elaborate structures. No matter the building material, they will add accents like natural coping, glass tile, colorful plaster, or a textured finish to customize the project for your property.

 

Photo credits: Houzz.com

POOL EQUIPMENT FOR EASY MAINTENANCE

Routine maintenance is a necessary part of pool ownership Thanks to technological advances in swimming pool equipment, pool care has become more simple, convenient, and efficient than ever.

Here are some pool tools that will make taking care of your pool a quick and easy process.

Automatic Pool Cleaner

1Automatic pool cleaners automate the otherwise manual task of removing dirt, leaves, and other debris from the pool. There are different types of automatic pool cleaners and most manufacturers offer a variety of models to fit any swimming pool, budget, or lifestyle.

Automatic Pool Covers

Covering your pool between swim sessions not only keeps your pool cleaner longer by blocking out dirt and debris; it also prolongs the need to replenish water and chemicals by stopping the evaporation process. Most automatic pool cover systems consist of a rectangular vinyl cover that fits into tracks permanently installed along the sides of the pool. These cover systems can be installed in a variety of ways to fit any type and shape pool or design aesthetic: the tracks can be mounted into the pool deck, installed under the pool coping or in the pool wall for a seamless look, or mounted under a slightly raised rectangular or cantilevered deck to accommodate freeform pool shapes and vinyl-liner or fiberglass pools.

Chlorine Feeders

Chlorine feeders, also called erosion feeders and chlorinators, hold several chlorine sticks or tablets (trichlor) and continuously dispense a stream of chlorine as the pool water passes through the feeder and slowly dissolves the tablets.

Digital Test Strip Reader

Digital test strip kits make maintaining balanced water chemistry an easy and straightforward task. After a test strip has been placed in a water sample, a digital test strip reader will automatically compare the reacted color blocks on the test strip against the color chart pre-loaded inside the device and translate the reading into numerical results, displaying the current levels of sanitizer, pH, and total alkalinity in the water on an LCD screen.

Reasons to Remodel Your Pool

before-afterThere are so many ways and reasons to remodel your swimming pool. Perhaps you’ve had your pool for a while and Maybe you’ve fallen in love with a new pool tile and want to resurface it. Or possibly you’ve added a child or pet to the family and you are interested in remodeling with the latest safety features. Whatever your reason, a pool remodel can completely change the look of your swimming pool area.

If you have had your pool for a while and you are interested in upgrading the features, there are many things that you can add to update it. Consider adding water features such as waterfalls, fountain bubblers or deck jets. You can also add other features such as fire features, waterslides, rock walls, a hot tub or even lighting features.

Adding safety precautions is a great reason to remodel your pool area. You may need to add a pool fence or pool safety nets to protect children and pets. You will also want to be sure that you pool has the latest in anti-entrapment equipment to prevent hair, limbs or other body parts from being sucked toward the pool drain.

You might also want to remodel your pool for energy efficiency. If you have an older pump, you will want to upgrade to an energy efficient, variable speed pump, which will use 30-45% less than a standard pump. A pool cover can also keep your pool water warmer, saving energy costs to heat the pool. A cover will also reduce evaporation. Many people are also choosing to remodel by adding saltwater conversion. This more natural option will allow a homeowner to handle less chemicals and save money in the long run.

So, no matter the reason to remodel your pool, be sure to explore all of the options available to you and choose the best for your backyard, your home and your family.

Re-blog
credits to: Janel Evans

What to Do With Wrinkled Vinyl Swimming Pool Liners

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There are some chemical conditions that can cause a vinyl swimming pool liners to wrinkle. Wrinkles most often occur in swimming pool liners during the winter, when the swim pool is closed and the water level is lower.

How can you get the wrinkles out of vinyl swimming pool liners?

During the construction of a pool, the hole that is dug is slightly larger than the pool, and the dirt that is backfilled is not as compacted as the undisturbed soil around it. This can create a “bowl” which holds water for a while before that water is absorbed into the surrounding soil. When the level of this groundwater outside the vinyl lined swimming pool comes up to or is higher than the water in the swim pool, the vinyl liner is in a “floating” situation. As the water on the outside of the swim pool liner is absorbed into the soil, the liner is again pressed against the pool support structure, but not always like it was originally. The result? Wrinkles.

How can they be removed?

Groundwater often comes from the landscaping, surrounding the swimming pool, directing rain/snow runoff water under the pool deck and into the area around the pool. It is important that this be corrected by directing all runoff water away from the pool area. Check where your gutter downspouts direct the water.

If you have just removed the cover to your pool, and have not filled the pool with water yet, and you have found that the liner is “floating”, now is a good time to prevent wrinkles from forming. As you are adding water to the pool you will be able to move the liner around to position it as it should be as it begins to sit back against the walls and floor.

You can do this using a pole with the pool brush on the end or by padding the end of the pole with a rag. Do not push so hard that you poke a hole in your liner. You will need to “baby-sit” the filling process until the liner is firmly seated.

What if your pool is full and there are wrinkles in the liner? If there are only a few small wrinkles, you may be able to remove these by using a toilet plunger. By plunging around the wrinkle you can spread out the liner in that area thereby removing the wrinkle. Do not plunge directly on the wrinkle but rather just above, below, or to the side.

If the pool is full and there are too many wrinkles to plunge out or the wrinkles are so large as to be folded over we would strongly recommend calling in your local pool service professional. When the liner has folded over, it will most likely require draining the pool and resetting the liner to correct.

Anytime you drain a pool, there is the possibility of structural damage taking place. This is not the time to scrimp. You could lose the whole pool.

Credits to:  Woody McDowell